Have Storm Windows Become Obsolete?

Storm windows, made up of either glass or polycarbonate, are installed over the standard windows to protect the latter from various elements of nature like sun, wind, rain, hail and snow. In a standard skylight, glass panels are held together with putty, small nails and framing. Over a period of time, extreme weather conditions grind down the sealant, and result in the formation of gaps and fissures through which energy loss occurs at a rapid pace. Storm windows not only protect the single-pane casements from the damaging forces of nature, but also play a significant role in energy conversion.

In the present day, window manufacturing technology is more advanced from what it was about 10 to 15 years ago. As compared to single-glass panes, modern glass panels are more energy efficient. In these panels, two, three or even four sheets of glass are stuck together. In a bid to cut down heat loss, a low-conductive spacer made of aluminum or structural foam is placed between the sheets. The resultant space formed is filled with gases as Argon, Krypton, Xenon or Sulfur Hexafluoride. Such a glass system provides better heat insulation by competently reducing heat transfer rates. In addition to heat insulation, these glass systems also help to mitigate noise. Sometimes in these systems, glass-sheets of varying thickness are used primarily to enhance the capacity of window to attenuate noise.

Another important function of the storm window is that it provides protection from harmful ultra-violet (UV) rays. These radiations can not just discolor your valuable furniture and curtains, but they can also damage your flooring. The multi-layered glass systems have low-emissivity (low-e) coating, which is a thin layer of metal oxide deposited on the glass panels. The low-e coating reflects back the sun rays, and thereby, prevents them from entering the room. Additionally, it also averts heat loss due to conduction.

Longevity is another aspect where modern glass systems excel over storm windows. The latter requires a lot of maintenance very much like the conventional casement. On the contrary, the former is more sturdy, durable and resilient. The frame of the system is equally strong and energy-efficient. Thus, storm windows have surely lost their charm. In fact, if you install them over your modern windows, they will do more harm than good. The intense heat buildup between the two windows will only work to shorten the lives of both of them.

Source by Anubha Shyam

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